Scared and Defensive cat

SamuraiJack

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I recently adopted a cat from the shelter who is not particularly fond of humans. He is really shy/scared and attacks if you put hands anywhere close to him.

Progress thus far is scratching his ears with a toy stick, purring has been achieved, even brushing him with a brush! But only when his eyes are closed and purring. Even though he really enjoys the brushing he sometimes opens his eyes, hits the brush and hisses at me. I am wondering why is he that scared of seeing the brush or the act of me brushing him?
 

imaginewizard

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This sounds more positive than negative! The fact that he's purring in your presence is a good sign, you just need to be patient with him, sometimes cats need time to acclimate to new things, your cat sounds like one of those types. Doing things like you're doing, being in the same room, reinforcing that you're not a threat, that this is his space and you are a part of his colony. It will take time and you'll need to find a balance between gently prodding his challenge lines and being patient.

I found a great way to show a cat you're not a threat is sleeping in the same room as them. When I first got River, he spent the first days here under the bed by default, which was great coz I kept him in the room overnight, and obviously during the night he would come out, hear and smell me close by, see I was sleeping, and to cats, things which are enemies are not comfortable sleeping near you - so because I was sleeping near him, I was not an enemy. River is one of those cats who is very quick to adapt so he was over it in a few days and has never gone back to that state, despite annual moves, since. Your cat might need some more patience. It also helps to sit near by but ignore the cat while working on you own things, occasionally talking to him in a gentle voice.

Here's a guide which might help: Bringing Home A New Cat – The Complete Guide – TheCatSite Articles
 

shadowsrescue

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Here's a really good article that might help you.
 

Meowmee

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I recently adopted a cat from the shelter who is not particularly fond of humans. He is really shy/scared and attacks if you put hands anywhere close to him.

Progress thus far is scratching his ears with a toy stick, purring has been achieved, even brushing him with a brush! But only when his eyes are closed and purring. Even though he really enjoys the brushing he sometimes opens his eyes, hits the brush and hisses at me. I am wondering why is he that scared of seeing the brush or the act of me brushing him?
It sounds like it is going well so far. I would not do the brushing maybe, you can judge it as you see fit, because some cats get over stimulated by brushing and can have that reaction. Other things to try would be, treat training to eat from your hand, play purrli for him, music, sing to him, show him cats on youtube or tv and videos etc., sit with him and read to him, make sure he has his own safe place like a box etc. to hide in. Sleeping with him is great idea too.

I recently took in one of my outdoor guys, he was a scared dumped cat who took almost 2 years to trap, he had become so frightened and was aggressive as well at first so we tried gabapentin and he has improved tremendously. He has been in a drop trap which is what I do with tnr or kitties who need isolation, this also helped him to be safe and allowed him to meet my other kitties face to face safely. He had giardia and hookworm.
Now he is eating treats from my hands, lets me touch his side, sniffs my fingers purrs, is very relaxed and loves his safe space etc. He is very talkative too, he talks to me and my other kitties a lot. The other night he loved watching all of the dancers in a Sia video 😻
 
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Maria Bayote

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you are doing great!

Thanks for rescuing the little guy.

It takes time for a cat to fully trust human. But when that day comes it is the most wonderful feeling!
 
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